Building and Sustaining Meaningful and Effective Relationships as a Supervisor and Mentor

Picture of Building and Sustaining Meaningful and Effective Relationships as a Supervisor and Mentor
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All courses are still owned by BDS and made available on our website.

In this text, Linda LeBlanc, Tyra Sellers, and Shahla Ala’i explore both entry-level and advanced topics in supervision. The book focuses on the importance of strong relationships and teaching higher-order skills throughout any supervisory endeavor. The authors provide a conceptually sound set of supervision practices that will guide the actions of those who aspire to become better supervisors or mentors at any point in their careers.

The book focuses on including and celebrating people from diverse cultural backgrounds and life experiences (e.g., race, ethnicity, gender identity). Throughout the text, the strategy of self-reflection is used to guide readers in developing plans for their professional growth and for fostering the growth of others. Those who are being supervised during their graduate training and thus preparing to supervise others may develop a greater understanding of their ongoing supervision experience to help them decide which aspects of these experiences they want to integrate into their future professional selves and which parts they want to discard. Those who are already supervising and mentoring others may benefit from reflection on the strategies that they have been using and how those actions were shaped by their prior experiences. Seasoned supervisors may gain additional perspective or new ideas for supervision and re-anchor their supervisory practices to their ultimate goals of professional growth and contribution to the field.

Table of Contents

Section 1: Approach to Supervising and Mentoring  

1. An Introduction to Supervision and Mentoring as Relationships 

Definitions and Roles

Evolving Relationships

Activity 1: Identifying Your Supervisory Relationships

Activity 2: Current and Past Roles

2. Starting Strong in a Collaborative Supervisory Relationship

Strategies for Starting Strong

Activity: Exploring Collaboration Topics

Appendix: How to Talk About Feedback

3. Understanding Past and Current Supervisory and Mentored Relationships 

Reflection and Values Determination  

The Mentor Tree Activity  

Examples from the Authors  

Planning for Continued Development  


Activity 1: The Mentor Tree

Activity 2: Planning for Continued Development

4. The Impact of Culture on Supervisory Relationships 

Collaboration as a Supervisory Strategy  

Behavior Analysis and Culture  

Opportunities for Learning   

Pathways to Cultural Responsiveness  

Activity 1: Cultural Awareness Interviews

Activity 2: Exploring Your Place of Privilege

Activity 3: Exploring Your Perspective

Activity 4: Community of Practice Assessment

Activity 5: Cultural Satisfaction Survey for Employees and Supervisees

Section 2: Teaching Meaningful Repertoires  

5. Using a Competency-Based Approach to Supervision  

Considerations for a Competency-Based Curriculum  

Determining Scope of Content and Skills  

Addressing Ethics  

Job Models and Curriculum  

Determining Mastery Criteria  

Considerations for Assessing Performance  

On-Going Assessments  

Considerations for Teaching Content  

Appendix A: Tracking Competencies

Appendix B: Examples for Assessing Competency

Appendix C: Script for Explaining Feedback and Responding to Feedback

6. The Benefits of Learning from Experts and Self-Managing Development  

Considerations for Identifying an Expert 

Considerations for Teaching Effective Observing  

Considerations for Teaching Effective Self-Observation and Reflection  

Teaching Self-Management for Long-Term Success  

Considering Communities of Practice as Long-Term Supports 

Appendix A: Observational Learning Self-Checklist

Appendix B: Self-Management Planning

7. Structured Problem Solving Skills  

Definitions: Problems and Problem-Solving   

A Structured Approach to Problem-Solving   

Problem Solving in the Supervisory Process 

Appendix A: Problem Solving Worksheet

Appendix B: Assessing Common Difficulties with Problem

8. Organizational and Time Management Skills  

OTM Skills  

Appendix A: Sample Task Plan for Completing an Assessment Report

Appendix B: Agenda for Initial Supervision Session

Appendix C: Sample Agenda for Client Session

Appendix D: Assessing Organization and Time Management Issues

9. Interpersonal and Therapeutic Relationship Skills

Core Interpersonal Skills  

Communication Skills  

Noticing and Self-Reflection Skills  

Perspective-Taking Skills  

Compromising and Harmonizing Skills  


Applying the Core Skills in Different Contexts  

Peer Workplace Relationships   

Multi-Disciplinary Collaboration  

Therapeutic Relationships with Clients and Families  

Appendix A: Therapeutic Relationship Self-Evaluation

Appendix B: Assessing Difficulties with Interpersonal Skills and Therapeutic Relationships

Section 3: Evaluating Supervision and Building Career Resilience  

10. Evaluating the Effects of Supervision 

Evaluating Effects Using Data from the Client   

Evaluating the Effects Using Data from the Supervisee  

Evaluating the Effects Using Data from Caregivers and Others  

Evaluating the Effects Using Data from the Supervisor  

Appendix A: General “Check-In” Questions

Appendix B: Supervision Monitoring and Evaluation Form

11. Identifying and Resolving Problems in the Supervisory Relationship

Detecting Issues: Looking for Smoke  

Detecting Indicators in the Supervisee’s Behavior 

Detecting Indicators of Problems in the Supervisory Relationship inYour Own Behavior  

Evaluating and Addressing Contributors to the Issue  

Supervisor Self-Evaluation  

Addressing Issues  

  Case Example —Multitasking while Supervising  

  Case Example —A Supervisor’s Harsh Feedback  

  Case Example —A Supervisee’s Immaturity  

Ending the Supervisory Relationship  


Appendix A: Looking for Smoke: Detecting Indicators of Issues in the Supervisory Relationship

Appendix B: Considerations to Determine Scope and Focus of the Issue

Appendix C: Self-Reflection on Supervisory Practices

Appendix D: Self Reflection on Personal History and Biases

12. Planning for a Sustained Career and Lifelong Growth

Transitioning into Your Career  

Know Your Values and Reinforcers and Maintain Access to Them  

Preventing and Addressing Burnout   

Summary and Recommended Strategies for Sustained Career Engagement and Enjoyment  

Appendix: Recommended Practices for Career Resilience and Enjoyment

Activity A: Identifying Your Preferred Work Activities

Activity B: Identifying Your Personal Reinforcers

13. Failures and Successes Are Teachers



Appendix I: BACB 5th Edition Task List

Appendix II:  BACB Supervisory Training Outline .

Appendix III: BACB 5th Edition Task List Self-Assessment

Appendix IV: Additional Resources

Name Index

Subject Index

The BDS bookstore has been sold to the Behavior Analyst Leadership Council. 

Please click here to go to their site.

All courses are still owned by BDS and made available on our website.